Lightroom CC Feature Rundown

LSD tab wearing off from last week’s post about Adobe’s switch of Lightroom to Lightroom Classic CC? Time for another hit of the Adobe re-marketing LSD train. This week we are talking about Lightroom CC. If you liked the Lightroom Classic CC LSD update tab you may or may not have a good trip with the all new, rebranded Lightroom CC one. If you are a Lightroom Classic CC user, Lightroom CC is going to be a different experience. It’s not necessarily a bad experience though, just a different one.

Lightroom CC Basics

Lightroom CC is the “New Hotness”. Its user interface is completely new and modern. It looks like something Apple Inc. would design. It is definitely NOT “Classic”.

Upon opening Lightroom CC, the simplistic look will have you believing that this software is feature lacking. Upon further inspection though, you will realize that just about every develop feature from Lightroom Classic CC is in there. Adobe has just managed to re-organize your develop tools to simplify how you operate.

The square grid from your Lightroom Classic Library is still available. However, there is a new Photo Grid as well that lays your photos out like a seamless jigsaw puzzle.

This leads me right into the fact that there aren’t any Modules in the new Lightroom CC. Map, Book, Slideshow, Print and Web do not exist. While I already know many of you are going to hate this, I personally have all of those aforementioned Modules turned off in my Lightroom Classic CC.

Lightroom CC Mobile screen shot by Jay GoodrichLightroom CC now houses all of your photos “on the line” (come on Vince Vaughn loves working on the line). It automatically uploads ALL of your photos to Adobe servers. I know, not another non-reality cloud product! This gives you functionality though. You can edit and continue editing photos virtually anywhere you have an internet connection. This connectivity is pretty seamless through your desktop iMac and handheld iPhone. Add a keyword to a photo and boom it’s on all of your devices.

And finally, some of the classic shortcuts you love and I hate, like the letter ‘R’ for crop are now different too. LSD has a way of changing your mind. Crop finally has a shortcut of the ‘C’ key just like Photoshop!


All of the Lightroom Classic CC Modules you once knew are now gone from Lightroom CC. This includes the Library Module. However, you do still have a photo library or you would not have anything to edit. You do not have folders or collections anymore. If you organzine your current Lightroom library using folders like I do, you are DONE. Those folders are gone in Lightroom CC. Lightroom CC will read collections and create Albums of those collections should you choose to import your current Lightroom Classic CC catalog into it. In addition, you can create NEW Folders in Lightroom CC that can hold a series of Albums.

When you import your already existing photos, Lightroom CC will recognize most of the metadata and any Lightroom Classic CC & Camera RAW adjustments you have previously made. It will also read all of your current keywords. You will lose color labels, but retain star ratings. If you use the Pick and Reject flags those are in there too. In general, the metadata fields are much simpler. Your photos will look like your photos from Lightroom Classic or Photoshop, so the color profiling seems to be good.

Lightroom CC does have something special in store for you in regards to keywording as well. Adobe has added new keyword searchability from their Adobe Sensei machine-learning technology. This technology identifies features of photos and automatically connects keywords to those features. This makes every photo you have searchable based on its content without any user input whatsoever. So if you are a metadata SLACKER your dreams of never adding searchability to your photos may be coming true. It DOES NOT add these searchable keywords to the photo’s keyword metadata for you though. It just shows photos that it believes to have specific keywords attached to them. I would say that I had a 90% success rate trying it with the 215 photos that I imported into the software.

Lightroom CC Develop Tools Screen shot by Jay Goodrich


Yes, the Develop Module is gone in Lightroom CC, just like the all the other modules. Adobe has re-organized how you will make adjustments to your photos in the software  as well. Again, like mentioned earlier, at first glance you think Lightroom CC is some sort of “light version” of the original software. It is really just a very refined user interface that you will like the more you use it. Most of the old develop features are available in Lightroom CC. Some are missing.

Lightroom CC does not have the new masking features that were released with the latest update to Lightroom Classic CC. It does not have a Tone Curve or a Targeted Adjustment tool for the Tone Curve. The targeted adjustment tool is missing from the Hue, Saturation, and Luminance area as well. The Tone Curve is available on the mobile app, so you have curves on any mobile device. I have read that Adobe will be adding Curves back into the desktop version of Lightroom CC in a future update.

Lightroom CC is also missing control of Camera Profiles and Process.

If you do most of your photo mastering in Photoshop, good news, Lightroom CC is connected to Photoshop CC as well. While Adobe has changed some of the shortcuts, the shortcut to edit in Photoshop is the same ‘Command + E’ here. In addition, your Lightroom photos are available directly inside of the Photoshop welcome screen.


Lightroom CC automatically uploads all of the photos you import into it directly to Adobe’s cloud servers. This functionality gives you instant access to working on your photos from any device. The process is great in theory and it does work well, but there are some hiccups that I noticed.

While the software is uploading your photos it is a bit laggy. My version also crashed during this process and all of the adjustments I had been applying at that moment were lost. Lightroom CC must sync photos first, then finish up with your new adjustments.

Here is another biggie. I am now running a 100Mbps down and 20Mbps up internet connection on fiber. The syncing process is SLOW. VERY SLOW. It took 5 hours to upload 215 full resolution RAW and PSD files into Adobe’s cloud. Imagine how long this process would take for ALL of my 200,000 photos? About 4700 hours!

Lightroom CC runs smoothly after it syncs your photos. I feel like the new Lightroom Classic CC runs better than Lightroom CC. This could just be my my mind playing tricks on me, without an actual speed test to confirm. I do feel like the brush tool is much faster in Classic than on the new CC.


A standalone Lightroom CC plan with 1 TB of storage is available for $9.99 per month. For those wanting Photoshop CC and/or Lightroom Classic CC as well, with the 1 TB of storage, the cost is $19.99 per month. Existing Creative Cloud Photography Plan customers will receive a $5 discount every month for one year on the aforementioned plan or can keep their current plan for $9.99 per month and enjoy the additions of Lightroom CC with just 20 GB of cloud storage. A mobile-only Lightroom CC subscription for $4.99 per month provides 100 GB of data. In addition to these plans, more storage will be available for undisclosed prices. I tried to explain to you that LSD makes people crazy.

I have the monster Creative Cloud plan that gives me access to everything Adobe makes. With this plan I have 100GB of available storage in the new Lightroom. I already know that is not enough storage for me because an 8TB hard drive is almost full as of this article. What does 8GB of storage cost from Adobe? I have no idea. I did find a small link to call for plans up to 10GB, so there is potentially something available even for me.

Now What

I think Lightroom CC is a new beginning. I feel like it is the future even though we have no idea what the future is. My gut is telling me that Adobe is looking to separate some of the functionality of Lightroom Classic CC from that software. Most professional photographers, myself included, have catalogs way too large to really consider switching over to Lightroom CC at this point. I tried syncing some of my photos within Lightroom Classic a while back and just got frustrated with the whole experience. In fact, I was so frustrated with the now Lightroom Classic that I started using Capture One Pro.

If Adobe were setting up a change, Lightroom CC could become the amateur product that allows for multi-device editing and an online library of photos accessible anywhere, anytime. This type of functionality is great, but not really for someone with a large library of photos. I also want my photos to have the best color, in a controlled environment, on a profiled monitor so editing on the go doesn’t help to keep my photo adjustments accurate.

The fact that I have 200,000 photos throws another wrench into the scenario. I don’t want to pay more for online storage than I do for desktop storage. If Adobe is charging $20 per month for 1TB of photo storage, I have got to assume that their monthly pricing for 10TB is probably too much compared to a fast Thunderbolt 3 desktop storage solution. A new 10TB Lacie Thunderbolt 3 drive is only $599 from B&H. The warranty on that hard drive is 5 years. The desktop drive has the monthly pricing beat, hands-down.

Who Then

Lightroom CC is for those who have much smaller photo catalogs than I do. It is for the photographer who cannot spend hours adjusting metadata or adding keywords. If you only share your photos on social media, Lightroom CC will give you that and more. You will have a powerful editing platform and a simple cataloging process without the catalog. You will also save a ton of space on your desktop computer and mobile device. My hope is that Adobe makes Lightroom Classic CC look like the new Lightroom CC, but maintains the current Library and Develop functionality. They can ditch the rest of the modules as far as I am concerned. There are far better software platforms out there for slideshows, books, prints and web galleries in my opinion.

Will I switch

Not bloody likely. I love the user interface of Lightroom CC. And actually love the simplicity too. Having my photos on my iPhone would be cool, but I would use that feature less than 10% of the time. I would miss the Tone Curve and absolutely miss the new masking features of Lightroom Classic CC. In addition, I really like Capture One Pro. Lightroom CC is another great product from Adobe for editing your photos. Just remember to drop another hit of LSD before even attempting to understand the new marketing platform of Adobe.

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3 Responses

  1. Thanks Jay for bringing more clarity to choices between the new and still available Adobe products. And I didn’t even need another hit of LSD to understand the differences! There are probably more than a few veterans of the 60’s and 70’s out there who chuckled along with your article.

  2. “There are far better software platforms out there for slideshows, books, prints and web galleries in my opinion.” Are you contemplating a post on some of these platforms? I seem to have gotten lazy and huddle comfortably in the LR modules despite some issues with each of them.

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